Water Conditioning - Peat, Cappatta, Rooibos Questions


Im new to the forum and new to keeping Altums. I have a few questions around the addition of Peat, cappatta and rooibos.

I have read through the forum posts and i have a few questions or need some clarifications.

1) Peat - are people using peat to condition their water to lower pH and and hunic acid? Do you still use peat in addition to roobios or cappata? I have purchased peat pellets from seachem. Are these okay to use instead of peat from say a garden store?

2) Rooibos and Cappatta - is the purpose of adding either of these items to tannins and beneficial nutrients to the water? Do they drop the pH? It appears people use one or the other. Is there a benefit of one over the other?

3) I live in New England and have a lot of Oak leaves in my yard. I was considering brewing my own black water extract with oak leaves. Id like to make my own extract with the oak leaves, but im not certain as to dosing. ALso would it be possible to combine oak and cappata or even rooibos to make a homemade blackwater concentrate?

Re: Water Conditioning - Peat, Cappatta, Rooibos Questions

Hi Jasa,
I don't use peat anymore because it's so dirty. Except for experimenting with fry I don't use tannin in any of my altum aquariums because I change too much water and its too dang expensive to keep up. Peat and rooibos will lower the pH but only slightly. I think most people use tannin because they enjoy the look and/or for the antibacterial properties the tannin possesses. Heavy tannin definitely seems to promote healthy long finnage. I've heard oak leaves make great blackwater. Just make sure they are free from any chemicals or pollution. Don't worry too much about overdosing. I add tannin until i am satisfied with the color of the water.


Re: Water Conditioning - Peat, Cappatta, Rooibos Questions

One of the things about keeping theses fish is that, unlike discus, the protocol is not utterly learned though there is a very good basic idea...and people break the rules all of the time and seem, sometimes, to be fine. Nonetheless, I have found,that a lot of stuff that works for other people, won't work for you..or there are details that seen unimportant that turn out to be deal breakers. For example, take all of those tannin releasers, including dirty leaves from Malasia and dirty leaves from Maine but then add one effective UV unit. End of tannins. I have heard that you can run UV and keep tannin producing leaves in the tank effectively, but I certainly cannot. For me ,it's one or the other and I am running the UV. I had a bit of a cattappa color in my altum tank but changed the bulb....end of color in a blink. Also, as MIke says, you are changing the water out so fast you just change out the tannins the UV hasn't gotten yet. Also, for it to look good and at least fool you into believing that it is working ( I do think it works) it takes a high dosage ( a ton of leaves).

BYW, I have 9 or ten tanks, more than a couple many now empty of fish as I have consolidated the fish into less tanks.. The one growout tank of altums takes 95% of my fish time.... and all of the not altum fish are perfectly fine.
regards Al